Are you getting a new addition to your family? Congratulations!
However, if you already have an older dog living with you, it would be wise to make necessary arrangements to introduce the new puppy to the older dog.
Adult dogs can be quite territorial hence you need to go for a puppy that is compatible to the older dog you already own.
Having a new puppy can be exciting for your family but not the dog of the house.
Instead of having unrealistic expectations that your resident dog will happily share his nap basket, you need to also prepare yourself for the worst.
Here are a few tips on how to introduce a puppy to an older dog….
1. Know what to expect
A very close friend of mine is totally obsessed with dogs. Every year she adds a new puppy to her house, something she began doing over 5 years ago, so she has a number of dogs at her place.
What she tells me is that, every time she plans to bring home a new puppy and she does, none of the dogs have ever welcomed a puppy with open paws and a wagging tail.
In fact, there were times when the older dogs would growl and snap at the little thing even though none of them have ever hurt the puppy.
Even so, such can be a scary experience for your new puppy. The bottom line is do not assume anything, plan and make proper arrangements on how to introduce your puppy to your older dog.
2. Do the introduction on a neutral ground
As already mentioned, your resident dog might do all in his powers to protect his territory.
Therefore, when doing the introduction, you can opt for a neutral ground like a neighbour’s compound or yard.
It is only then that your dog won’t feel the need to be protective of his territory or protective of your house. He might go straight and try to make new friends with the new puppy.
If you can’t think of a neutral ground, you can decide to put the dogs on a leash and go to the park. You might need to have someone to help you control the two dogs.
3. Unleash the dogs
When trying to get your older dog to accept a new puppy, it is wise not to put a leash on any of them. This is because dogs can feel when you are tense or emotionally troubled.
They can easily develop fearful aggression when put on a leash because they imagine being with that other dog and they can’t get away because they are on a leash.
When introducing a puppy to an older dog, it is advisable not to put them on a leash, just let them be free.
4. Conduct fence meetings
If you can’t think of a neutral ground, you can allow them to meet through a fence or tennis net. This will allow the dogs to sniff each other but not have complete access to one another.
The idea is to take away the mentality of “new dog” before the actual meeting. This can also reduce the chances of the older dog harming your new puppy because of the barrier between them.
You can study both their reactions and be able to predict how they are likely to behave when they officially meet.
5. Take them on a walk
This is yet another way to introduce a puppy to an older dog.
Take the dogs on a walk and let them walk side by side. This might require you to have the help of another person to help you handle each dog.
In order to reduce the tension, you can keep the leashes loose and allow the dogs to move around a bit. Walk them for at least 10 minutes before you allow them to meet head-to-head.
6. Give the dogs time to “greet” each other
Dogs exchange pleasantries by sniffing each other. Keep the leashes loose and allow them to do so for a few minutes.
Take them to an open place and supervise as they go about sniffing each other.
Carry a handful of treats and call the dogs after about 10 minutes and give them treats just to keep their mind distracted and the mood a happy one. This is also to prevent any tension from rising.
7. Check out for positive signs
Supervise the dogs while they are interacting and see if there are any positive signs.
Keep your eyes open for doggy language like the wagging of tails which is a very good signal that your older dog is accepting the new puppy and will get along fine.
If any dog yawns, that is also a positive sign that could indicate they are not a threat to the other dog.
If one licks the mouth of the other and rolls on the ground, which is a sign of submission in doggy language. This should especially come from the puppy because he is the younger one.
Let the introduction go on for a few minutes before ending the session.
8. Let them meet on home ground
Remember we introduced the dogs on a neutral ground. You now need to allow them to meet in your yard at home and also without the leash.
When you see them about to get too excited, you can call them apart after a few minutes.
If you own several dogs, introduce them to your puppy one at a time and not all at once for obvious reasons.
9. Arrange a meeting in the house
After allowing your dog to meet your puppy on home ground, you can now arrange a meeting in your house.
Let the older dogs stay outside when you first bring the new puppy inside the house. This should be done out of sight of other dogs.
The resident dog or dogs could be outside playing while you bring the little puppy indoors. When they come from play, they should find the puppy already inside the house.
10. Involve a professional dog trainer
In case you encounter any difficulties in trying to get your older dog to accept the new puppy, you can opt to hire a professional dog trainer.
Doggy Dan the online dog trainer course is a useful program that has helped thousands of dog owners with similar dog related issues.
The program will help your older dog get along perfectly fine with your new puppy and accept him as part of the family.
In a nutshell, introducing a new puppy to an older dog should not give you headache when you can indulge Doggy Dan the online dog trainer.
There is no stubborn dog in the world, you only need to know how to handle him and he will obey all your commands.
Understanding your dog’s needs and fears is also very important when introducing a new puppy to him.